Third Annual NJ Black Bear Hunt Is Underway
By Alexandra Hill, WBGO News
December 3, 2012
The state’s third annual bear hunt is underway, and so is the controversy that surrounds it.
The hunt is part of a five year policy put in place to help control the black bear population and reduce human interaction with the animals. Bob Consadine with the Department of Environmental Protection says the hunt is the most effective part of the policy.
“Our black bear damage and nuisance complaints are down about 26 percent this year, and our category one calls which are for dangerous bear incidents are down 43 percent from a year ago.”
Animal rights groups strongly disagree with the policy. Sue Russell of the Animal Protection League says the Division of Fish and Wildlife exploits the complaints in order to justify the hunt.
“The baiting practices by the division actually cause or exacerbate the problem, so it kind of flies in the face of logic to say that the hunt stops it.”
The Animal Protection League supports a bill in the New Jersey legislature which promotes non-lethal options.